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Energy subsidies and long-term strategies highlighted

Sep 06. 2012
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By The Nation

Energy Minister Arak Chonlatanon highlighted energy price subsidies and energy-conservation policies as one of his first-year achievement.


At the press conference today, he said the ministry had been successful in maintaining energy prices, in the level that eases the increase in cost of living. When oil prices spiked up, the Oil Fund's levy on petrol and diesel products have been cut which immediately brought down petrol products prices by Bt7-Bt8 per litre and diesel by Bt3 per litre. On Dec 1, 2011, the energy credit card scheme was launched to provide discounts on NGV prices and so far, over 85,000 cards have been issued. In August, the project was relaunched, to include motorcycle taxis and public vans. 
"To ease the cost of living, the Oil Fund has been used as the tool to maintain fair energy prices. While diesel is kept below Bt30 per litre, NGV retail price is maintained at Bt10.50 per kg. LPG price for household use would stay unchanged until the end of this year, while LPG price ceiling for industrial sector has been raised to Bt30.13 kg. LPG for transportation sector would be gradually raised," he said.
For long-term energy security, the ministry has also won the Cabinet's endorsement on June 19 to raise the statutory fuel reserve from 36 days of consumption to 90 days. The Power Development Plan was revised, with the integration of alternative energy development plan, energy-efficiency strategies and greenhouse gas emission reduction plan. Thailand has also inked cooperation deals with other Asean countries for the preparation for AEC, Angola for petroleum cooperation, and Myanmar for onshore petroleum exploration. 
On alternative energy, to promote ethanol production, 91-octane petrol sale will be stopped from Oct 1, 2012. Thailand's biodiesel also increased 50.5 per cent on year to 2.76 million litres a day, as the country sells only diesel B5 with 5 per cent biodiesel content. 
On energy-efficiency, the Cabinet approved the 20-year plan (2011-2030) to reduce energy consumption by at least 38,200 kilotonne or equivalent and CO2 emission by 130 million tonnes. This will save energy cost in the last year of the plan by Bt707.7 million. 
All government agencies are compelled to reduce energy consumption by at least 10 per cent. By cutting electricity use by 316.9 million units, they will save Bt950 million per annum. This is also translated into the saving of fuel by 19.1 million litres. 
In the first year, the ministry generated royalty fee of Bt75.5 billion from its petroleum concession. 
Arak is also pushing for a new oil pipeline in the North and Northeast, which will cut the deployment of 51,536 trips of oil trucks per annum and reduce fuel consumption by 40 million liters. Aside from a cheaper oil price, the pipeline will also reduce road accidents and pollution. It will supports Thailand's aim to become an energy logistics hub in Asean. 

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